Joe Biden Says Family Grief, Granddaughter's Tears Influenced His Decision to Not Run for President: 'You're Not Gonna Leave Me, Are You, Pop?'

Joe Biden says his family's grief over the death of his son Beau played a major role in his decision to not run for president in 2016


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.cbs-link {color:#4B5054;text-decoration:none; font: normal 12px Arial;}.cbs-link:hover {color:#A7COFF;text-decoration:none; font: normal 12px Arial;}.cbs-pipe {color:#303435;padding: 0 2px;}.cbs-resources {height:24px; background-color:#000; padding: 0 0 0 8px; width: 612px;}.cbs-more {font: normal 12px Arial; color: #4B5054; padding-right:2px;}Joe Biden says he was on the fence about whether to run for president until the very last moment – but he now believes he made the right decision for his grieving family.

During an appearance on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, Biden, who lost his son Beau in May to brain cancer, said of his decision to not run for president in 2016, “Look, dealing with the loss of Beau, any parent listening who’s lost a child, knows that you can’t – it doesn’t follow schedules of primaries and caucuses and contributors everybody grieves at a different pace.”

“It’s the right decision for the family, it’s the right decision for us,” he added.

But he said he didn’t always see things so clearly – a point he illustrated by sharing a heartbreaking moment he had with his 11-year-old granddaughter, Beau’s daughter, Natalie.

“At one point, late summer, I thought, ‘Well, you know, I think we can do this.’ I’ll never forget my little granddaughter. We’re down by the swimming pool. Mom says, ‘Time for dinner everybody.’ And everybody goes up, and she’s lying between my legs with her head on my chest and turns around and puts her arms around me and starts sobbing and says, ‘Pop, I see Daddy all the time. I see Daddy all the time. Pop, you smell like Daddy. You’re not gonna leave me, are you, Pop?”

“When that happens, you go, ‘I don’t know, man.’ You can’t run for president unless you throw your entire being into it,” he said.

Much to the dismay of his supporters, the vice president announced Wednesday from the White House Rose Garden that he would not be joining the 2016 race. He had been weighing a presidential bid for months leading up to the announcement, and many wondered why it had taken him so long to decide.

“Because it took that long for us to decide as a family,” the 72-year-old told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell.

“What I struggled with was whether or not we could emotionally I could emotionally handle this in a way that when I thought of Beau – I didn’t – it wasn’t a problem,” he added.

Biden also shut down a report that his late son had urged him to run for president from his deathbed, but noted that Beau had long hoped his father would run – and believed he could win.

“But there was not what was sort of made out as kind of this Hollywood-esque thing that at the last minute Beau grabbed my hand and said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to run, like, win one for the Gipper.’ It wasn’t anything like that.”

During his announcement Wednesday, Biden, flanked by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, and President Obama, said his hurting family had finally reached a point where thinking of Beau “brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.”

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